Incline Bench Pull

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Middle Back
Secondary Muscle(s) Shoulders
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

Incline Bench Pull Instructions

  • Set an incline bench to about 30-40 degrees.
  • Place the barbell on the floor in front of the bench.
  • Lay with your stomach and chin pressing against the bench. Situate your legs on each side with your feet touching the floor.
  • Reach down and grab the barbell with a slightly wider-than-shoulder-width grip.
    • Hands are pronated.
    • Your arms are extended fully yet your elbows are not locked.
    • Your shoulder blades/scapulas are active and pinned back.
  • With your neck neutral, chin pinched down against the bench, activate your scapulas to raise the barbell up slowly towards your chest.
  • Imagine you are pinching a quarter between your shoulder blades.
  • Do not actively pull with your arms, they remain passive.
    • Have the feeling you are a scarecrow at the top of the exercise.
  • Pause briefly at the top then lower the bar in a controlled manner.
  • Keep the bar path vertical. Do not let it sway from your center of gravity.


  • Don't use momentum to move the weight. This will negate the exercise. 
  • Your body stays against the bench. Ignore the feeling to 'rock' your torso back to move the bar.
  • Don't let your upper traps elevate/shrug as you perform the exercise.
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